Just about the last thing Capt. Jimmy David of L&H Sportfishing ever expected to see when running back into Key Biscayne, south of Miami, in about 15 feet of clear water, were a half-dozen giant bluefin tuna.
“It was amazing,” David told me the evening of Monday (April 8), just hours after the whole episode. “From a distance, at first it looked like some big pieces of black plastic” — until they got up to the fish.
“I fished tuna commercially out of Gloucester for seven years and have caught ‘em up to 900 pounds,” David said. Point being: The man knows a bluefin tuna when he sees one. These were all of 500 pounds.
And, with David, his mate and an angler from Italy in the tower of their 46 Hatteras, L&H, following in astonishment right on the fishes’ heels, the skipper realized the tuna were headed directly toward a large flat, no more than 200 yards away! When David was about to run out of water deep enough for him to safely follow the fish, “They all turned and headed back out to sea.”
David told me there had been reports about three weeks earlier of some enormous bluefin sighted farther out, beyond the edge of the reef. “But I’ve never seen them in water this shallow!” It’s a sight he won’t soon forget.